Sell to be able to afford to buy. Or to degrease after having invested massively. Each club adjusts its behavior in the market according to its strategy. Of its means, especially. But in this 2022 edition of the summer transfer window, one element is obvious: many clubs, a month after the opening of the market, are struggling to “sell their assets”.
Overall, nothing very alarming, for the moment. Last summer, the clubs of the five “big” championships sold for 2.3 billion euros in total. As of July 11, they are on schedule, with 1.3 billion euros pocketed. The fact that four of these five major leagues have a transfer balance at the moment in deficit – with the exception of Ligue 1 – is also not alarming. At least not in view of what happened a year ago.
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But some special cases are obvious. And speaking of Ligue 1, the Ligue des Talents provides us with two glaring examples: those of Paris Saint-Germain and Olympique Lyonnais, each of which illustrates a very clear trend. Let’s start with the PSG situation.
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Georginio Wijnaldum (916,000 euros), Mauro Icardi (800,000 euros), Julian Draxler (562,000 euros) or even Layvin Kurzawa (500,000 euros) are pushed towards the exit. But their disproportionate salaries in relation to their performance make them almost unsaleable as they are. Unless they make big concessions. But do they want it? The German environment, for example, has shown for a long time that it was absolutely in no hurry.
If he is a specialist, the champion of France is not the only club faced with this problem. In Spain, for example, FC Barcelona will find it difficult, for the same reasons, to separate from Miralem Pjanic, as has been the case for many months with Samuel Umtiti, whose emoluments posed a problem until the Frenchman does not lower his salary at the start of the year. Without that changing anything so far, even if the left-hander also suffers from the fear of other clubs regarding his physical condition.
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The fashion for free starts
If we come back to our French examples, OL illustrates another problem: the rather recent tendency of players to want to go through with their contract. Houssem Aouar and Moussa Dembélé have two things in common: they have not left to start next season and will be free next summer. The Rhone club would therefore obviously like to recover transfer compensation for elements respectively valued at 25 and 20 million euros by Transfermarkt.
But no top-level team seems to be interested in these two players for the moment. On the other hand, in six months or a year, with a free status, the opportunities will inevitably be more numerous. To a lesser degree, Léo Dubois, Tino Kadewere or even Youssouf Koné, all under contract until 2024, will not accept the first offer that comes along.
On a European scale, Serge Gnabry, Marcus Rashford, Carlos Soler or even Memphis Depay could also wait a year. From Paul Pogba to Paulo Dybala via Franck Kessié, many major moves have also taken place – or will be – at the end of the contract this summer.
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But the Bavarian club will not be able to blame their Italian counterpart for being greedy, since they would have rejected an offer of 40 million euros from Barça for Robert Lewandowski, 33, out of contract in a year. At this rate, the market is unlikely to unlock. Apart from the side of the Premier League, as very often.
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